Looking Back: 10 Years of The Phoenix Forum

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Forum, set for April 2-4 at the Tempe Mission Palms in Arizona celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. 

What began a small gathering has grown into a major adult Internet industry destination to meet, do business and have a good time.

Hone Lynn, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for FUBAR, is a longtime attendee and has seen the changes in the annual event.

"After attending The Phoenix Forum -- which used to be The Desert Forum until CCBill took over the show in 2001 -- for nine years, I have so many memories," Lynn told AVN Online.

"In 2001, The Forum was held at the Resort at South Mountain. It was a small show and everything except the seminars were held off the grounds so there were a lot of bus rides to the evenings activities," Lynn recalled. "The resort was beautiful but, highly confusing to locate rooms, especially for drunken webmasters. I remember one night after getting back from an evenings' debauchery and watching people stumbling around hallways and walkways trying to locate their rooms. I had to chuckle to myself because it was just like watching mice in a maze"

When the show changed its name to The Phoenix Forum in 2002, it moved to Millennium Resort at Scottsdale McCormick Ranch.

"It was a beautiful property," Lynn told AVN Online. "CCBill's late night suite was a highlight for me since it was next to a little lake. Sitting out in the grass next to the lake late at night was a great place to chill and network."

AK in business development at DatingGold has eight shows under his belt with this year's Phoenix Forum.

"My very first webmaster show was actually The Phoenix Forum 2002," he said. "I had only been in the business for about one year then. I made a lot of great contacts whom I still talk to these days.  Each year, it seems the show gets better and better.  I think I speak for many attendees that this show is definitely on top their must-go list."

Another Phoenix Forum warrior is Quentin Boyer, marketing manger for Pink Visual.

"Among my fondest memories of The Phoenix Forum is from 2002, one of the years that Lightspeed sponsored a paintball event," Boyer said. "I hadn't played paintball in over 10 years at that point, and I had no idea how much more powerful the guns had become in the interim. When they were handing out protective gear, I thought to myself, 'it's too hot to wear all that, and besides, these things don't hurt; you can barely feel it when they hit you.' Well... it turns out that the difference between the kind of paintball guns I rented back in the early '90s and the kind we used that night is pretty significant, and it also turns out that several of my adversaries from that night are pretty darn good shots. By the end of the night, I was so covered in paintball welts I looked like I had been engaged in a heavy-petting session with an enormous octopus, and/or contracted some rare flesh-rotting jungle disease."

Boyer said the mix of business and pleasure is the key to the event's success.

"Ultimately, the thing that I think has made the Forum so successful is its focus on networking and the effort its organizers have put in to facilitate interaction between attendees, from the nature of the parties and other events down to the very layout of the venue," he said. "From the hotel's central courtyard, which functions as a kind of crossroads for all attendees, to the well-planned and thoughtfully scheduled seminars, the Forum just makes life very easy for it participants. To borrow from the parlance of the political convention: 'Ten more years! Ten more years!'"

For some, The Phoenix Forum has been an introduction to adult industry shows, such as Magalie, Director of Product Development at FameDollars.

"I must say, I couldn't have gone to a better one to start in this industry. Having the hotel all to ourselves made it so easy to meet everyone," Magalie said. "I really didn't know what to expect from the industry but everyone was so kind and easy-going. The naked dodge ball was also very unique and funny to watch.  I have the best memories from this show and it really is a must-attend event every year."

"I remember my first show ever was The Phoenix Forum held at La Posada Resort," recalled Joel, Sales Director of Gamma Entertainment.  "I have great memories from this show; everyone was trading badges, so I ended up being JMK from Hustler for a day. For me, this show was the start of great relationships and even greater friendships. This event has been growing in size and in quality ever since its start.  Thumbs up to The Phoenix Forum and I wish you many more birthdays."

Industry veterans all agree the desert gathering is an essential adult biz event.

"The Phoenix Forum is one of the best places to network with the adult industry leaders," said Richard S. Cornejo, Director of Marketing for Electracash. "We look forward to attending the forum each year and this year is especially exciting for us. We have launched Check21 with Signature Safe and will have try-outs of the demo."

"Each Phoenix Forum has had its own flavor, going all the way back," said Scott Rabinowitz of TrafficDude. "While distinct, they've all been productive."